Witness names 5 lawmakers who endorsed ‘pork’ to NGOs
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. himself has allegedly signed documents endorsing the use of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to non-government organizations through Zamboanga Rubber Estate Corp (ZREC), a witness told the Senate on Thursday.
Testifying before the blue ribbon committee, assistant secretary Salvador Salacup, former head of ZREC, said he recalled seeing the name of Revilla who actually signed the endorsement letters to several NGOs.
“I recall because he [Revilla] only had one project,” Salacup told the committee.
But Salacup later clarified that the funds that were coursed through ZREC went to Pangkabuhayan Foundation, which was not linked to Janet Lim-Napoles, who allegedly masterminded the “pork barrel” scam involving the channeling of the funds to fake NGOs.
The two other senators who allegedly coursed their PDAF to ZREC were Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce-Enrile and Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada athough their endorsement letters were signed by representatives.
But Salacup said there was one “communication” from the office of Estrada signed by the senator himself.
He said there was also a letter signed by a certain Attorney Lucila Reyes.
Aside from the two senators, Salacup also identified a certain “Congressman Valdez “ and “Buhay Partylist Representative Velarde” who endorsed their PDAF to the questionable organizations through ZREC.
Both Valdez and Velarde, he said, signed their endorsement letters to the NGOs.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala also took the witness stand but apologized to the committee, saying he had no knowledge about the issue.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.